Synology DiskStation DS923+

Synology DiskStation DS923+ review: Two steps forward, one step back

2023 is the year of AMD for Synology network-attached storage enclosures. Today, we’re going to be looking at the mighty new Synology DiskStation DS923+, which is the successor to the popular DS920+, a four-bay NAS favored for its powerful internals and the ability to smoothly run Plex Media Server.

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It’s a four-bay enclosure designed for busy households and small offices with multiple users connected simultaneously. Running applications such as Plex Media Server isn’t out of the question either as one could install up to 32GB of system memory inside the DiskStation DS923+.

So, just how capable is this NAS, could it be the next best NAS, and is it worth purchasing? We’re going to dive deep into what makes this enclosure tick and if it’s worth upgrading for those with the older DS920+.

Synology DiskStation DS923+
Synology DiskStation DS923+. (Source: Synology)

Synology DiskStation DS923+

  • AMD Ryzen R1600 CPU
  • Up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM
  • Expansion bay support
  • The same excellent DSM OS
  • Optional 10GbE networking
  • 1GbE ports
  • No integrated GPU
  • Pricey

Synology DiskStation DS923+: Specifications

Synology DiskStation DS923+
Synology DiskStation DS923+. (Source: NM)

Looking at the specifications of the Synology DiskStation DS923+, it’s easy to get excited about what’s on offer. Synology has made the switch from Intel Celeron chips to the AMD Ryzen R1600, a two-core multithreaded processor capable of boosting up to 3.1GHz. There’s 4GB of DDR4 RAM out of the box with the option for up to 32GB to be installed.

SpecificationSynology DiskStation DS923+
CPUAMD Ryzen R1600
(2-core, 3.1 GHz)
GPU
RAM4 GB DDR4
(max 32 GB)
Storage4x SSD/HDD
2x M.2 SSD
Expansion1x DX517
1x PCI
Cooling2x 92 mm
Ports2x 1GbE
2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
1x eSATA
Power~35.51 W
Dimensions166 x 199 x 223 mm
Weight2.24 kg

Just like the DiskStation DS920+, two M.2 SSD slots join the four main 3.5-inch drive bays for storage. Unlike the older NAS, the new DiskStation DS923+ is capable of using these two M.2 slots for adding capacity to the storage pool. Previously, one could only use the super-fast storage interface for SSD caching. What could probably be considered an unwelcome sight are the two 1GbE LAN connections.

Synology DiskStation DS923+: Price and availability

Synology DiskStation DS923+
Synology DiskStation DS923+. (Source: NM)

The Synology DiskStation DS923+ launched at the beginning of 2023 and has an MSRP of $599.99. That’s what you’ll be paying for the four-bay NAS enclosure with no hard drives included. The previous four-bay DS920+ has an MSRP of $549.99, so we’re seeing a $50 jump between the two server models.

Synology DiskStation DS923+: Design and features

Synology DiskStation DS923+
Synology DiskStation DS923+. (Source: NM)

We’re going to wrap up this review by stating the fact the Synology DiskStation DS923+ is almost identical to the DS920+ … thank you for reading! We’re just messing with you, here’s an in-depth look at the design and some of the features of the DS923+.

Okay, the DS923+ actually is identical to the DS920+, one of the best Synology NAS for Plex. Placing both NAS enclosures next to each other would cause serious confusion if you block out the front-facing model number identifiers. As well as the model number, the front panel of the DS923+ has four drive bays, some status indicator LEDs, one of two USB ports, and a power button.

The two sides of the DS923+ are bare aside from Synology branding, and the top panel is completely free of just about anything. The underbelly of the NAS houses two access doors to the two M.2 slots. The rear is where all the magic happens with DC input (from the external power supply), two 1GbE ports, the second USB port, and an eSATA port.

It’s a shame we don’t have any HDMI connectivity for running Plex locally, not to mention the two 1GbE ports. Synology will gladly sell you an optional 10GbE adapter to populate the proprietary PCI slot on the rear of the NAS. It would have been good to see hard-wired 2.5GbE ports at the very least.

The four drive bays can be populated with the very best NAS drives on the market. Whether you’re into flash-only storage or traditional mechanical drives, this NAS will happily handle either. Interestingly, Synology allows the two M.2 slots underneath the NAS to be used for storing data as well as SSD caching.

Synology DiskStation DS923+: Performance

Synology DiskStation DS923+
Synology DiskStation DS923+. (Source: NM)

The AMD Ryzen R1600 processor found inside the Synology DiskStation DS923+ may not have integrated graphics processing, but it’s still a very capable little chip. The CPU has two cores, four threads, and is capable of boosting up to 3.1GHz. Not bad for a chip rated for between 12-25W.

Whether you plan on running Plex Media Server or some other intensive package, the DS923+ shouldn’t cause any issues. We ran Plex, Synology’s Surveillance Center, as well as a few other packages, and found absolutely no problems with the CPU other than slightly sluggish performance with some 4K transcoding.

Although you get four drive bays to work with, as well as two M.2 SSD slots, Synology allows the connection of the DX517 using the single eSATA port, bringing the total number of drive bays up to nine.

ModelForm FactorBaysMax NumberInterface
Synology DX517Tower51eSATA
Seagate IronWolf 4TB HDD
Seagate IronWolf 4TB HDD. (Source: NM)

As well as using the NAS in a live simulated environment, we performed a few benchmark tests. These aren’t terribly important but do allow us to compare raw numbers between enclosures. The Synology DiskStation DS923+ didn’t disappoint with solid scores in CrystalDiskMark and PCMark10.

BenchmarkSynology DiskStation DS923+
CrystalDiskMark (Sequential)287 MB/s read
286 MB/s write
PCMark10 (Data Drive)95.2 MB/s
283 ms
File transfer (15GB folder)263 MB/s

We don’t anticipate you’ll need to expand the 4GB of DDR4 RAM included at the factory, but it’s good to know this can be upgraded to 32GB for numerous simultaneous connections or deployments such as virtualization. All the testing of the DS923+ was carried out using Seagate 4TB NAS drives.

Synology DSM 7
Synology DSM 7 home screen. (Source: NM)

We’ve got to give a special shoutout to the DiskStation Manager OS. Synology is still the class leader in this area with its excellent operating system. Backed by its cloud services, you’ll be up and running from unboxing in a matter of minutes. The installation process is a breeze, and so too is creating all your user accounts and installing some packages.

If you’ve used a PC before running any OS, you’ll feel right at home here.

Synology DiskStation DS923+: Competition

QNAP TS-464
Accessing the QNAP TS-464 drive trays. (Source: NAS Master)

There are countless NAS enclosures available on the market as the industry becomes more popular with more people looking at localized storage. We’ve reviewed some examples here at NAS Master, including the great value TerraMaster F4-423 and super-capable QNAP TS-464. These are the two closest competitors to the DS923+ from Synology.

The TerraMaster F4-423 is a four-bay NAS with some impressive specifications for just $469.99. We’re looking at the Intel Celeron N5105/N5095 processor, 4GB of DDR4 RAM (expandable to 32GB) four drive bays, two M.2 SSD slots, an HDMI port, and two 2.5GbE ports.

The QNAP TS-464 is also a powerful NAS with an Intel Celeron N5095 processor, 4GB of DDR4 RAM (expandable to 16GB) four drive bays, two M.2 SSD slots, an HDMI port, and two 2.5GbE ports. It’s a little more expensive than the TerraMaster F-423 at $549.99, but still costs less than the Synology DiskStation DS923+.

Synology DiskStation DS923+Synology DiskStation DS920+
CPUAMD Ryzen R1600
(2 cores, 3.1GHz)
Intel Celeron J4125
(4 cores, 2.7GHz)
GPUIntel UHD Graphics 600
RAM4GB DDR4 (max 32GB)4GB DDR4 (max 8GB)
Drive bays4x SSD/HDD
2x M.2 SSD
4x SSD/HDD
2x M.2 SSD
Capacity80TB80TB
Expansion support1x DX5171x DX517
Cooling2x 92mm fan2x 92mm fan
Ports2x 1GbE
2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
1x eSATA
2x 1GbE
2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
PCI slots1 (for 10GbE)
Power draw~35.51W~32.17W
Dimensions166 x 199 x 223mm166 x 199 x 223 mm
Weight2.24 kg2.24 kg
Price$599$550

Specifications aren’t the complete story as Synology offers one of the best operating systems for NAS, as well as a comprehensive cloud service platform. If you’d like to stay within the ecosystem, we’d recommend checking out our in-depth Synology DiskStation DS923+ vs. DS920+ guide to see how it compares against its predecessor.

Synology DiskStation DS923+: Should you buy?

Synology DiskStation DS923+
Synology DiskStation DS923+. (Source: NM)

Who should buy this?

  • Those who require a NAS with four drive bays.
  • Those who will be storing a lot of data with more than a few users.
  • Those who seek the very best NAS experience and ecosystem.

Who shouldn’t buy this?

  • Those who want the very best Plex performance.
  • Those who want a NAS with an Intel processor.
  • Those who need 2.5GbE ports (or higher).

The Synology DiskStation DS923+ is an enclosure designed for both the home and office. It has four drive bays, a capable AMD Ryzen processor, the ability to support up to 32GB of RAM, and you can install an optional (and proprietary) 10GbE interface. It’s a brilliant NAS with the complete Synology experience.

It’s an expensive bullet to bite, however. For $600, the specifications simply do not meet what’s offered by the competition. The 1GbE ports aren’t great if you don’t want to fork out the 10GbE adapter. Then there’s the processor, which is fantastic on its own but doesn’t have an integrated GPU. It’ll handle some Plex transcoding, but you’ll need to bear this in mind.

Whether you should buy the Synology DiskStation DS923+ over something like the QNAP TS-464 depends largely on whether you favor Synology’s OS and its first-party app support. The design of its NAS is also among the best in the business, it’s just a shame we weren’t able to see specification parity with the competition.

Synology DiskStation DS923+

Synology DiskStation DS923+
Synology DiskStation DS923+. (Source: Synology)

The new Synology DiskStation DS923+ replaces the successful and popular DS920+. With such big shoes to fill, we’re happy to report that Synology did a stellar job with the DS923+.

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